As we leave the Easter Season behind us, with all its joys, celebrations and rich liturgy, we enter into the month of June. From a very natural point of view we hope that June will be a month of warmth and sunshine – sadly, this is not always the case! However, the Church likes to ensure that the month is filled with light and joy by spreading a carpet of feasts before us.

The first Sunday of the month, June 3, is the beautiful Feast of Corpus Christi when we have the opportunity to give thanks and praise for the wonderful gift of the Christ’s abiding presence in the Eucharist. That same week closes with yet another wonderful celebration, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 8. Here we are reminded of the incredible love that God has for each of us in sending his only Son, Jesus, to give himself up for us. The following day is the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Mary united her heart to the heart of Jesus and, in pondering all the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection, shows us how to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

For all those of us who are constantly losing and misplacing things, we can turn to St Anthony of Padua and celebrate his feast on June 13. Then comes the lovely Feast of SS John Fisher and Thomas More, two saints who most of us feel especially close to and who fill us with admiration for their strong faith in the face difficult decisions.

As we near the end of the month, halfway between last Advent and next Advent, we remember the birth of St John the Baptist (June 24), the precursor of Jesus. On June 27 we have the feast of the patron of the Diocese of Middlesbrough, Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  Remember to pray for the good state of all within the diocese and God’s blessing on us all through Mary’s intercession. And finally, we end the month with the ancient feast and holyday of SS Peter and Paul on June 29. Peter is the “Rock” on which Christ founded his Church and Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles.

For by your providence

the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul bring us joy:

Peter, foremost in confessing the faith,

Paul, its outstanding preacher,

Peter, who established the early Church from the remnant of Israel,

Paul, master and teacher of the Gentiles that you call.

And so, each in a different way

gathered together the one family of Christ;

and revered together throughout the world,

they share one Martyr’s crown.

Many happy feasts of June.

Bishop Terry